Before I had any idea that olive oil had a lower smoking/burning point I decided one day when i was home alone that Id make some french fries. I only had olive oil on hand and didnt know any better. So I fired up the stove and put a pot half full of olive oil on the burner. I turned it to HIGH heat because i was impatient and for some reason I put a lid on the pan and this is the moment I made a huge mistake.
I went into the living room while it was heating up and i smelled something burning and i thought that was odd because it had only been heating for a couple minutes.
So i go into the kitchen and HOLY FUCK! the pot of oil was shooting flames out from under the lid. I panic and take the lid off and WOOOSH! the flames shoot 5 feet in the air and im standing there with a flaming pot in my hand not knowing what the fuck to do.
I knew better than to add water to put it out. And did I mention olive oil has a very low smoking point. Withing seconds after lifting the lid off, a gigantic plume of smoke erupted from the pan and began to fill the entire house with white, pure smoke not to mention the 5 foot flame that accompanied it.
I somehow got the back slider door opened in my fit on panic and walked outside with this flaming, smoking pan full of hot oil. I dumped it out in the sand and threw sand on it until the fire went out.
When I walked back inside the house the smell was the first thing that hit me. Burnt olive oil smells like absolute shit. Besides the smell, I couldnt even see across the room as there was so much smoke. And then as youd guess every single fire alarm went off in the house. I ran like a madman to open all the doors and any window i could get to.
After the smoke cleared and the fire alarms went off the smell just wouldnt go away. It took about 2-3 days for the smell to finally subside. Hardest cooking lesson I'd ever learned.
TL;DR Almost burned my house down by overheating oil on the stove.